Meditation's Effects on Brain Fog

 What do you do when brain fog sets in?

What causes brain fog?

Having brain fog feels a little bit like waking up on a dreary autumn day. Like any fog, it creeps up on you. It slows you down and makes everything you do feel bleak and gray. All you want to do is sleep, or wait until it goes away.

But unlike the weather, your brain is under your control. So don’t waste your time waiting. Take hold of your brain, and find a way to help it.

Why Is Meditation A Good Idea?

Getting started with mindfulness meditation

There are lots of different reasons [1] you may be experiencing brain fog. Your first job is to figure out which of these applies to you.

If there’s some medical issue afoot, get treatment ASAP. Never ignore the possibility that your brain fog is a warning signal. But for many people, brain fog can be the result of something simpler, such as too much stress or too little sleep.

Whatever the root cause, meditation can almost certainly help in your quest to clear your mind. Here are a few science-backed facts you should know about the effects of meditation:

  1. Meditation Can Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest.

Even if you’re sleep-deprived because of insomnia or a pain condition, meditation could be the sleeping elixir you need. Experts say [2] that mindfulness meditation has observable results in lifting insomnia and fatigue.

But it’s not just a matter of meditating before bed. Instead, you should practice mindfulness for at least twenty minutes during the day. This will help you develop a relaxation response that will put you to sleep before you can say “insomnia”.

So what do you need to do to teach your brain this relaxation response?

  • First, pick something to focus on. Many people just like to focus on their breathing, while others prefer to repeat a short phrase or visualize a particular image. Don’t get too inventive here, just go for something simple, and use the same focus point every time.
  • Then relax your body and keep focusing on the same thing until your twenty minutes have passed.

This could actually lead to daytime naps as well, so it may be a good idea to practice your relaxation response in a position that won’t let you drift into sleep. Combining this technique with yoga is a really good approach.

So that’s one thing you can do to break out of a brain fog – do something else with your brain for a short while. Your sleeping patterns will improve very soon, and you’ll find that your concentration is back on track once again. This will be great for your body too, and your mood is sure to improve.

  1. Stress Affects You Less If You Meditate Regularly

You already know that stress affects your brain. Stressful situations create hormone changes, but chronic stress actually alters [3] the structure of your brain. It’s no wonder that your thoughts get foggy and dim if you have to deal with crisis after crisis.

Many people feel disconnected from traditional advice about cutting back on stress factors. After all, most of us can’t go off the grid or avoid unpleasant people entirely. Maybe you have a long-term plan that will get you out of a stressful environment, but you have to persevere until you reach your goal.

Fortunately, anyone can meditate without disrupting their everyday routine. You don’t need to move away, change your job, climb a mountain (though if you want to, meditation will help you achieve those things). All you need to do is set aside less than a half-hour at a time, and then direct your brain to focus.

Apart from mindfulness meditation, you can look into other approaches [4]. Guided meditation can help you break out of your daily grind and achieve a state of peace and optimism. You might end up getting a new perspective on the things that were stressing you out.

Tai chi and yoga are both great because they combine meditation with physical exercise. Stress makes your body fill with adrenaline. Physical exercise is a good way to make use of that, and calm your heart rate and blood pressure as well.

  1. You Can Become the Boss of Your Own Brain with Meditation

One of the worst things about brain fogs is that they make you feel helpless. Obviously, you want to shake them off, but you just can’t. It may feel like your brain fog is robbing you of the ability to do things you normally excel at, and it doesn’t even let you control your thoughts.

That’s where meditation comes in. Though it might take a while, meditation will help you learn how to become more aware of your body, your emotions and your thoughts. [5]

 Why do you have brain fog? Just as there can be a hidden medical cause, you may be dealing with a hidden emotional cause of some kind.

Do you really want to finish the task at hand? Do you believe that you can do it? Are your thoughts preoccupied with something you can’t solve but also can’t ignore?

Daily meditation will help you answer these questions. It will also shed some light on your strengths and the things you need to work on.

Remember: you shouldn’t think about your daily tasks while you’re meditating. Stick to focusing on your mantra or your breathing. But once you’ve achieved perfect focus, you can turn it toward any kind of issue.

You will find that meditation can make you calmer and more methodical. Plus, it will become easier to approach your problems from multiple perspectives. Even more importantly, you’ll feel confident enough to take on anything life throws at you.

The Sun ’ll Come Out... Tomorrow

You can be absolutely sure that meditation will help you deal with brain fog. However, this process is not going to be instantaneous.

A single guided meditation video or a few days of breathing exercises won’t be much help. Like anything else worth doing, meditation requires patience and dedication. You should look into different approaches, and consider taking up classes.

After some research and a bit of work, you will start feeling the beneficial effects of meditation on your habits and your sense of self. Imagine a future where brain fog never visits you, and you wake up well-rested every morning. Totally worth it, right?

Want other tips on getting better sleep? Check out our other posts:

8 Ways to Sleep Better and Feel Rested Again

Interesting Relaxation Techniques for Better Sleep

 


Hi! We’re Team Neuro, aficionados of all things brain-related, from creativity to working out. With backgrounds in art, science, and athletics, we love delving into all the potentials of the human body.


We also created the world's first sugar-free nootropic caffeine gum that utilizes the effects of caffeine and L-theanine, made to help you optimize your mind — anywhere, anytime. Find out more here.


 

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/brain-fog#causes

[2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726

[3] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201402/chronic-stress-can-damage-brain-structure-and-connectivity

[4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

[5] https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~agyurak/Szeatal_E_2010.pdf

 

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